Al-Quran Surah 7. Al-A'raf, Ayah 166

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فَلَمَّا عَتَوْا عَنْ مَا نُهُوا عَنْهُ قُلْنَا لَهُمْ كُونُوا قِرَدَةً خَاسِئِينَ


Asad : and then, when they disdainfully persisted in doing what they had been forbidden to do, We said unto them: "Be as apes despicable!"133
Khattab :

But when they stubbornly persisted in violation, We said to them, “Be disgraced apes!”1 

Malik : But when after that they persisted in their forbidden ways, We said to them: "Be detested apes."
Pickthall : So when they took pride in that which they had been forbidden, We said unto them: Be ye apes despised and loathed!
Yusuf Ali : When in their insolence they transgressed (all) prohibition We said to them: "Be ye apes despised and rejected." 1139
Transliteration : Falamma AAataw AAan ma nuhoo AAanhu qulna lahum koonoo qiradatan khasieena
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Asad   
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Asad 133 According to Zamakhshari and Razi, the expression "We said unto them" is here synonymous with "We decreed with regard to them" - God's "saying" being in this case a metonym for a manifestation of His will. As for the substance of God's decree, "Be as apes despicable", the famous tabi'i Mujahid explain it thus: "[Only] their hearts were transformed, that is, they were not [really] transformed into apes: this is but a metaphor (mathal) coined by God with regard to them, similar to the metaphor of 'the ass carrying books' [62:5]" (Tabari, in his commentary on 2:65; also Manar I, 343; VI, 448; and IX, 379). A similar explanation is given by Raghib. It should be borne in mind that the expression "like an ape" is often used in classical Arabic to describe a person who is unable to restrain his gross appetites or passions.

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Yusuf Ali   
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Yusuf Ali 1139 Cf. ii. 65, n. 79.
   
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29144

 Literally or metaphorically. See footnote for 2:65.

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